Licensing your BIG-IP

Licensing is the first thing you would want to do when configuring your BIG-IP for the very first time. Below are two methods with which you can accomplish this.

Automatic method

Use this method if your BIG-IP has internet access.

1. BIG-IP generates a ‘dossier’. The dossier contains the hardware information of your system and the registration key which is pre-populated on the BIG-IP.
2. BIG-IP then sends the dossier to the F5 License Server.
3. If the dossier is valid, the License Server sends a license file back to BIG-IP.
4. BIG-IP stores the bigip.license file in the /config directory.

All this is done by the BIG-IP without any manual intervention.

Manual method

Use this method if your BIG-IP does not have direct internet access or is blocked by a firewall.

1. BIG-IP generates a dossier just like the way it does in the Automatic method.
2. However in Manual Licensing method, you either copy the dossier (a lengthy alpha-numeric text) or download it as a file to your PC.
3. If you’re current PC does not have an outbound connection to the internet, then copy the dossier to a PC that does have one.
4. Then send the dossier from the PC to the F5 License Server -> Paste/upload the dossier you copied/downloaded in Step 2. I would suggest to copy/paste it rather than downloading/uploading it as it’s just faster that way.
5. The F5 License Server then returns the appropriate license file. Copy the license file to the BIG-IP and it’s done!

Everything here is done using the GUI. All you need to do after logging in to BIG-IP is to go to Setup Utility -> click on Activate. Verify the registration key if already present or enter it manually. Then select which method you want to use for licensing and follow the prompts. It’s pretty straight forward just like the way you install your windows applications. Next -> Next -> Finish. ;-)

You can log on and register at the F5 University for a free video based training if you want to. All I’m doing is making written notes of those videos for a quick reference for the certification/interviews ;-). You can find my study notes here ->

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